Interesting Ship – ‘Ile De Sein’ to recover Air France Flight 447 data recorder

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 318
April 8, 2011

© Stéphane Saissi

Cable laying vessel “Ile De Sein” selected to recover Air France flight 447 data recorder

This weeks interesting ship is the Ile De Sein.  Built in 2001, the vessel is owned by the telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent and has been used for such jobs as part of a project to lay 9,000 kilometres of submarine cable between Sydney and Hawaii.

Today, however, the vessel was contracted by the the French aviation accident investigation bureau to recover the wreckage of the Air France passenger jet that crashed in the mid-Atlantic in 2009 on a trip from Rio de Janeiro and Paris.  The wreckage had been found at a depth of 3,900 meters earlier this week.

The goal of the operation is to recover the flight recorders and other clues from the wreckage to determine the cause of the accident.  To compelete its mission, the vessel will be assisted by an ROV provided by Phoenix International Inc, a U.S. company.

Here are the vessel Specifics provided by the History of the Atlantic Cable and Undersea Communications website:

Built: 2001.
Operated by: Alcatel – Lucent.
Length: 140.36 m,
Breadth: 23.39 m,
Depth: 12 m.
Gross tonnage: 13,978.

Two main cable tanks provide storage for a total of 5,000 tonnes of cable.


2003     APOLLO: Bude, England – Long Island, USA: Lannion, France – Manasquan, USA
2003     Azores – Madeira
2003     Madeira – Porto Santo
2007     NEPTUNE: a scientific project which will be the world’s largest cable-linked seafloor observatory.

© Stéphane Saissi

© Stéphane Saissi

Photos via Shipspotting


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